Students at the First Nations School of Toronto got more than the gift of reading thanks to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and First Book Canada (FBC).
On Friday, Feb. 10, volunteers from TCS donated 1,000 brand new books to students at the east-end school – part of a larger campaign that saw the downtown company distribute 6,000 books to schools across the Toronto District School Board.
Rather than all staying in the school’s library, some of the books were gifted to the students themselves.
“The wonderful thing about this particular program is that it provides books for the kids to read, take home and start their own personal library,” said First Nations School librarian Doris Burrows. “They’re brand new books, chosen specifically for them.”
Burrows also got a $500 gift certificate to the FBC marketplace, which she used to match the students with a book that caters to their interests.
“As I picked the books, I had specific children in mind,” she said. “Some of them don’t really get into fiction, but when you give them a book about snakes, koalas or a neat piece of technology, they get right into it.”
Each student also got a copy of Maggie McGillicuddy’s book Eye for Trouble.
Beyond just donating the books, volunteers from TCS sat down with some of the school’s younger students to read and discuss the books.
“They got to make a personal connection – a time when there was an adult who was focused on one little boy or girl,” Burrows said. “I was really quite touched at how much the volunteers got out of it, too.”
FBC is a not-for-profit dedicated to providing new books to boost literacy among kids. TCS Canada country head Soumen Roy noted his company has worked with FBC for more than a decade in the U.S. and Canada.
“Today's First Book event was designed to advocate literacy as part of our CSR efforts under the banner of 'Impact Through Empowerment,' and it's a real honour to donate more than 1,000 books to deserving students of the First Nations School of Toronto," Roy said in a statement.
The school is located in the former Eastern Commerce Collegiate building near Donlands and Danforth.